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Tuesdays mean market day in Turlock

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Tuesdays mean market day in Turlock

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POSTED June 9, 2012 1:29 a.m.

For the better part of a century, about 80 years, the Turlock Sales Yard has hosted the Tuesday Flea Market, located at the corner of East and Berkeley avenues.

Every Tuesday between 5,000 and 10,000 bargain hunters visit the market, which hosts 300-500 weekly vendors.

Shoppers can find just about anything under the sun at the open-air market. When planning a visit to the market, make room for an entire day as there is a lot to see and experience. Admission to the market is free but parking is $2.

After a long day of shopping and looking for that great deal even the most experienced flea market patrons need a relaxation period. For Turlock Flea Market shoppers they can find that with several massage specialists who operate stations at key locations in the market.

There are a host of vendors who sell hand-made merchandise ranging from rosaries to honey. Maria Prado creates beautiful rosaries, bracelets and necklaces using thread and beads. Nearly all of her merchandise is hand-made. Marta Vega and her Merced-based family raise honey bees to make honey flavors like wild honey and orange blossom and honey comb for sale at the market.

“Winter is actually our best time for sales because people know about the health benefits of honey but we do okay in the summer,” said Vega.

Antique and nostalgic toy dealer “Tony” has frequented the market for 30 years. He sells collectibles that bring back precious childhood memories for some, like a “Dukes of Hazard” lunch box and thermos. “I get a lot of customers in; I make $400 before 8 a.m. because of the hard core collectors,” he said.

While these are just a few examples of unique finds at the market, one of the most popular items is fresh produce from regional farms.

“We love coming here for fruits and vegetables. They have more selection, better quality, and they are cheaper than grocery stores. Coming to the flea market has become part of our weekly shopping,” said  Kathy Cruz of Modesto and her shopping partner Amber Lairson of Turlock.

Third generation owner and operator Dave Lynn said the produce is the biggest draw for shoppers looking for a deal and “pickers.” He spoke to the legitimacy of the market and its reputation in the community.

 “Sometimes people think flea markets are full of shadiness, but there isn’t much of that going on here. The vast majority of these (vendors) are honest people with families that are just trying to make a living. They are hardworking and honest at this flea market. They have reputations and there are unspoken rules amongst the vendors about stolen materials and they will turn thieves in,” he said.

For more information about the Tuesday Flea Market in Turlock, visit www.turlockfleamarket.com

 — JONATHAN MCCORKELL

 209 Reporter

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